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Wooster Digital History Project

Joseph Meyers

The final stop on the eastern route in Wayne County was at the home of Joseph Meyers and his twelve sons. Meyers’ ancestors had fled to Pennsylvania and then made their way to Wayne county. His parents, who were Mennonite preachers, greatly instilled upon him the importance of freedom. The first documented public outcry against slavery came from a Quaker and the Mennonite community, who, in 1688, wrote and signed the Germantown Petition Against Slavery. Like his predecessors, Myers was a “Whig, a free-soiler and an abolitionist.”[1] While three of his sons renounced their religious vows to not bear arms to fight in the civil war, one son named Amos, who was physically unable to enlist, remained at home and helped his father guide slaves northward.[2] From here slaves were transported out of Wayne County and up towards Seville, Ohio.

[1] Arick, Ola. "The Slave Traffic." The Daily Record, February 2, 1946.

[2] Hauenstien, E.H. "Prominent Citizens in Pre-Civil War Days Aided Escaping Slaves." The Daily Record, February 9, 1952.